I recently asked my IG peeps what topics they wanted me to cover on the blog and QUINOA was requested.  Ask and you shall receive!


What’s the big deal with quinoa?

Quinoa is a superstar food.  While technically a seed, it is lumped in with other gluten-free grains and prepared similarly.  Quinoa is a plant-based source of complete protein with approximately 8 grams per cooked cup.  It provides all nine essential amino acids that your body needs.  It is also high in fiber so it fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer.  It is low on the glycemic index so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar quickly.  Quinoa is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.

In addition to being healthy, it is also widely available and easy to prepare!

How to you cook quinoa?

It is important to soak (or at least rinse) your quinoa before cooking.  That helps to release bitter tasting saponins and allows for better nutrient absorption.  In the morning you can fill a bowl with water, add your quinoa, and you’ll be ready to go when you get home from work.  I also really like to use sprouted quinoa which has already be soaked and dried because it is much easier to digest.  Be sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking.

In general, you want to add 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid.  And know that quinoa puffs up once cooked so the volume will increase.  If you are preparing a large batch at the beginning of the week and planning to use it for multiple recipes, I suggest simply using water and a pinch of sea salt.

Basic Recipe

–1 cup quinoa
–2 cups water
–Pinch of sea salt

–Add water and quinoa to pot and bring to boil
–Add salt, cover, lower temperature, and simmer for 15 minutes
–Turn off heat and allow to sit (covered) for 5 minutes or until all water has been absorbed
–Fluff with a fork

Quinoa is so versatile and can be used for breakfast, side dishes, or main meals.  Here are my three favorite ways to prepare it.

Quinoa Porridge

–2 cups cooked quinoa (see basic recipe above)
–1/2 cup non-dairy milk (or more depending on your desired consistency)
–1 teaspoon cinnamon
–1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
–1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
–1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
–Toppings: fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds

–Add all ingredients (except for toppings) to pot and warm (adding more milk, if desired)
–Top with anything that sounds delicious to you

Cumin Lime Quinoa

–Use basic quinoa recipe
–Add: 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 minced garlic clove to water
–Toppings: sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives

Quinoa Fried “Rice”

–3 cups prepare quinoa (I like several day old quinoa for this recipe because it is drier)
–1 small onion (chopped)
–3 cloves garlic (minced)
–1 inch fresh ginger (minced)
–Chopped vegetables (I like broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, jicama, peas, and grated carrot but get creative!)
–3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce)
–2 eggs (whisked)
–Chopped scallions and cilantro to top
–Sriracha and sesame oil for serving
–Coconut oil

–Coat a large, deep wok or pan with coconut oil and heat
–Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent
–Add in firmer vegetables like broccoli, jicama, and red pepper and cook until almost tender
–Add remaining vegetables and quinoa and cook for 2-3 minutes
–Add coconut aminos and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes
–Create a well in the middle of the mixture and add in eggs, stirring to scramble
–Mix everything together once the egg is cooked through and cook for 1-2 minutes
–Serve topped with scallions, cilantro, Sriracha, and a drizzle of sesame oil

What’s your favorite way to prepare quinoa?